Saturday, January 23, 2016

Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't say I'm much of a football fan (shocking I know from a girl who blogs about books and baked goods). I'm not anti-football, I'm just indifferent as to who throws a thing or kicks a thing or wins or loses or runs where on the field over an insanely stop-and-start 5-hour televised experience.

Football related snacks, however, are a completely different story! I will cheer for whomever's team of choice if there are ample snacks provided. And I'm happy to do some snack providing of my own.

Recently my roommates and I hosted a huge pre-football brunch. Chilaquiles, pancakes, eggs, cinnamon rolls, and bacon. So. Much. Bacon. As the crew settled into couches and chairs in a food-coma football daze, Steph and I decided that the time was finally right for a much-anticipated bacon chocolate chip cookie experience.

The bacon is candied!!!

But how much bacon is enough? How much is too much? Like the (mad) scientist we are, we decided to conduct some A-B testing.

The base recipe is compliments of Steph's recipe box (have I mentioned that I now live with another avid baker!?). We made half the recipe as "Medium Bacon" cookies -- meaning that they included ample candied bacon. The other half -- "Very Bacon" -- we took things to a whole other level and used bacon grease instead of butter (I KNOW), in addition to the candied bacon pieces.

We thought there would be a clear winner, but results were shockingly mixed! "They're chewy and crispy at the same time!" shouted one friend. "So much bacon," sighed another. "Just so much bacon."

I preferred the Very Bacon version, while there were others who preferred the Medium Bacon. We concluded that if you're going to eat multiple cookies at once then the Medium Bacon were the better choice, while the Very Bacon were more intense and thus more of a one-off eating experience.

I'll leave the recipe choice up to you. Either way, these are an excellent contribution to any party, football or otherwise.

Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 package (12 oz) bacon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups whole or rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (1 bag) chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butter (OR 3/4 cup solid cooled bacon grease -- note that we had bacon grease reserved from our morning bacon experience)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. To candy the bacon: Lay bacon strips on a baking sheet with raised edges (so the grease doesn't ruin the inside of your oven). Mix maple syrup and brown sugar and brush over bacon. Bake at 350 degrees until crispy (20-ish minutes). Once bacon is cooled, use your hands to break them into little pieces. 
  2. To powder the oats: Pulse the oats in a blender until coarsely ground.
  3. To make the cookies: Mix sugars and butter (or bacon grease). 
  4. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  5. Mix in dry ingredients (dough will be very crumbly, you may need to use your hands).
  6. Mix in bacon pieces and chocolate chips. 
  7. Using your hands, form dough into 2-tablespoon sized balls and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 
  9. Cool and enjoy!